Re: Items in a Series and Comma Use

Subject: Re: Items in a Series and Comma Use
From: Janice Gelb <janice -dot- gelb -at- sun -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Mon, 30 Jan 2006 08:34:56 +1100

Al Geist wrote:

This is one of those battles that will go on forever and never, ever be settled to everyone's liking. For the record, I am an old journalist (among other things) and in our industry, the last comma is not needed.

This, that and the other thing is good.
This, that, and the other thing is not good.

Do both sentences carry the same meaning....yep.

Whether the two sentences carry the same meaning
depends on what "that" and "the other thing" are:
if they are two concepts or objects that could be
combined (e.g., "marketing and communication") then
a comma before the conjunction clearly indicates
that they should be read separately rather than

The main point of mandating use of the serial comma
is that the writer does not have to examine each
occurrence to make sure that the sentence cannot be
potentially misunderstood: if you use the comma all
the time, then the sentence is always clear and the
final two objects cannot be read as combined. Using
the comma doesn't hurt anything and it is potentially
helpful so why not use it if there is no benefit to be
gained by leaving it out?

-- Janice

Now Shipping -- WebWorks ePublisher Pro for Word! Easily create online
Help. And online anything else. Redesigned interface with a new
project-based workflow. Try it today!

Doc-To-Help includes a one-click RoboHelp project converter. It's that easy. Watch the demo at

You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as archive -at- infoinfocus -dot- com -dot-
To unsubscribe send a blank email to techwr-l-unsubscribe -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
or visit

To subscribe, send a blank email to techwr-l-join -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com

Send administrative questions to lisa -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit for more resources and info.

RE: Items in a Series and Comma Use: From: Nuckols, Kenneth M
Re: Items in a Series and Comma Use: From: Al Geist

Previous by Author: Re: Incorporating third-party books
Next by Author: Re: Items in a Series and Comma Use?
Previous by Thread: RE: Items in a Series and Comma Use
Next by Thread: Re: Items in a Series and Comma Use

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads